Sutherland to combine roles and take charge of council’s finance service
SIC executive director of education and social care Hazel Sutherland is to take on interim responsibility for the finance service following the retirement of Graham Johnston.
Ms Sutherland was described by the council as its “most senior qualified accountant”, having qualified with the local authority through a traineeship at the start of her career. She will take on the responsibility in addition to her existing role.
Interim chief executive Alistair Buchan is committed to undertaking a review of the council’s management structure, as part of its improvement plan, so this arrangement will be in place until the new structure is agreed and implemented.
Ms Sutherland said: “I am pleased to have been offered the opportunity to focus on managing the council’s finances. There are considerable challenges ahead, which have been well documented, as well as many opportunities to continue to deliver good and efficient services for this community.
“I hope that my combined experience of finance and front line service delivery will mean that I can help the council to find ways to become more efficient. I think it’s really important that the public understands the council’s finances and the choices, which it has on how and where to spend money. I’m looking forward to having that discussion with the local community.”
Mr Buchan said: “I am very pleased that Hazel has agreed to take on this responsibility. Along with maintaining the good progress we are making on financial management I know that Hazel will contribute her own particular skills and ideas to the process. I look forward to working closely with her and her team as we continue to address the huge financial challenges facing us.”